No matter what type of yoga class you might be taking, you will hear the word asana a lot of times. It is used to refer to the physical yoga practice which is directly related to your body. All the postures and poses you practice and make in your yoga class can also be termed as asana. It is a Sanskrit word, and translates to “seat”. This refers to the state of meditation practiced in yoga poses. Many people use the terms asana and yoga interchangeably, but it is only one part of yoga.
As a yoga student, you must explore the meaning behind yoga asana, and strive to learn its history. With the help of these terms and the ideology behind them, you can give a spiritual meaning to yoga as well. Good yoga schools like Marianne Wells Yoga School also teach their students about yoga asanas.
It is a Physical Practice
Asana means the physical part of yoga practice. The term might look redundant as many people are not even clear about what yoga actually is.
Many people think that the physical part of yoga is the yoga itself. However, the reality is that yoga asana is only a physical exercise, and does not include the whole yoga practice.
In a nutshell, we can say that while yoga poses are needed to perform yoga practice, they are not yoga itself. Yoga can also be experienced through other means like breathing practices. Yoga can also be done without doing asana.
Why Are Yoga Poses Important?
We just learned that yoga poses aren’t an important part of yoga, so why does everyone make those poses?
When you rely completely on yoga poses, you feel disconnected from the real spirit of yoga.
So, Asana is a part of yoga, while yoga is a lot bigger thing.